Feminism and federalism in Australia: Pushing federalism beyond territory

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Since Australian federation in 1901 there has been a significant amount of research into Australia’s federal system of government. Valuable as this work is, initially little research concentrated on questions about gender and federalism. This chapter builds on an approach to scholarship examining the structures underpinning the Australian constitutional system from a feminist lens, by first looking at the historical material documenting Australia’s move to a federal system, highlighting the concerns of the women who at the time opposed federation. The second part identifies the practice of federalism in Australia, as a mono-national federation. Finally, the chapter returns to the principles underlying federal systems to determine whether ‘federal values’ are consistent with ‘feminist principles’. Its aim is to examine the relationship between federalism and feminism, and to encourage the continuing attention to gender and feminist legal scholarship in public law generally and this field of gender-focused studies around federalism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Gender, Diversity and Federalism
EditorsJill Vickers, Joan Grace, Cheryl N. Collier
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781788119306
ISBN (Print)9781788119290
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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